Photo: Chris Owens/ASP, Inc.

Post-Daytona Hangover Lingers into Kentucky for Stenhouse, Kyle Busch

By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor

Last Saturday night at Daytona, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. found himself as Public Enemy No. 1 among some in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage area after being involved in a series of crashes throughout the duration of the race.

A week later, Stenhouse and his run-ins on the 2.5-mile superspeedway were still front and center in the mind of Kyle Busch, who was involved in one of the multi-car crashes that Stenhouse helped trigger.

Busch expected a call from Stenhouse, who owned up to his part in the Daytona chaos after the checkered flag flew last week, but the call never came. Needless to say, Busch wasn’t happy about it.

“I am disappointed that he did not (reach out),” Busch said. “You wipe out half the field and pretty sure there would be a pretty busy Monday for him, but there wasn’t, so apparently he just doesn’t care.”

With Busch throwing more verbal jabs on Friday in addition to his post-race comments after Daytona, Stenhouse didn’t take too kindly to getting called out behind his back and made it a point to confront Busch during Cup Series qualifying Friday evening at Kentucky.

Following a short conversation between the two, Stenhouse addressed just what they had discussed.

“I felt like he ran his mouth enough on his radio and then after the race, so I didn’t really have anything to say to him,” Stenhouse said. “I honestly feel like I normally do reach out to people when I make mistakes and I clearly made a mistake, but with him running his mouth I just felt like I didn’t really need to call him.  I just let him know that.

“I told him, ‘You’re right.  You do run a lot further up front, but pick and choose your battles wisely because you’ll have to deal with me sometime, whether you’re lapping me or we get our cars better and you’re up there racing with us.’  I told him if he wanted to keep running his mouth, he could come over and do it around me and I’ll stop it for him.”

Busch would go on to qualify fifth for Saturday night’s Quaker State 400, while Stenhouse will roll off 14th, but after all that has happened over the past week, the focus will definitely be on these two and how they will handle racing around each other at Kentucky and the weeks to come.

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.